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Thursday, 26 January 2017

These 1,000-Year-Old Windmills Still Work Today

 These 1,000-Year-Old Windmills Still Work Today

How do you know when something has been engineered well? When there's nothing left to take away? When it makes it through testing without breaking? When it makes it through testing without breaking any other things? How about if you don't even get to know right away?

We all want the things we make to last, maybe even to outlast our own lifetimes. And if we get to the end of our days and see the thing we built still standing, still bringing joy to people, or still just plain working, we'd have to call that a success. To expect anything to last centuries, however, seems like a tall order – which makes these windmills all the more amazing. 

The ancient Iranian town of Nashtifan is home to some of the oldest windmills in the world – and they still work.

Locals here discovered early on that the wind wasn't just a nuisance, but a potential resource as well. These 65-foot-tall windmills have ground down grain for centuries of inhabitants.

Their design, which uses simple materials like clay, straw and wood, has withstood winds up to 74 mph. 

Although there are other windmills in the area, Nashtifan's are the only ones still operating. Iran designated them as a national heritage site in 2002.

Unfortunately, while the windmills themselves might still turn, they may have to finally be put to rest.

Their caretaker, Ali Muhammad Etebari, has no apprentice, and no family members or locals show any interest in learning his trade.

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